Wednesday, November 22, 2006

US Airways bigots tells Muslim Imams they're no longer welcome on airline

Outrageous story. It's one thing for US Airways to remove six Muslim clerics from a flight yesterday because passengers complained that they saw the Imams praying. Okay, I'm not sure what you do when passengers start freaking out. But it's quite another thing for US Airways to refuse to let one of the Imams buy ANOTHER ticket today when he tried to re-book his flight. Why did US Airways refuse to sell the Imam the ticket? Because he was involved in a "security incident," and US Airways policy is to ban such people.Get that? The security incident was that the guy prayed in an airport. He's an Imam, that's the Muslim equivalent of a priest. He prayed. So now he can't fly on US Airways ever again.

"This was humiliating, the worst moment of my life," Shahin said Tuesday, a day after he and five fellow Muslim imams were escorted off a US Airways jet at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

"To practice your faith and pray is a crime in America?" he said.

John in DC, AmericaBlog

LSB: If a Catholic priest crosses himself before a flight, would he have been removed? No. While I understand that terrorist concerns are at the forefront of airport travel these, a little common sense is needed – a would-be terrorist would be more discreet, not openly praying and calling attention to himself. This incident reminds me again of that famous 1960 TWILIGHT ZONE episode titled “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”:

Closing Narration: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own – for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone."

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